Maddie Woodward and Olly Rodgers had been alleged to be getting married this yr. However when the marriage couldn’t occur as they deliberate, due to authorities restrictions, they determined to do a skydive as an alternative.
Skydiving centres have reported a surge in bookings as individuals develop determined for post-lockdown excitement. Tony Butler, chief working officer at British Skydiving, stated the mixture of excellent climate and the very long time spent closed meant that centres had been very busy, which was useful as “they, like many companies, would have had little earnings within the final yr”.
Rodgers and Woodward, having by no means jumped out of a airplane earlier than, determined to do it now purely for the fun. “Lockdown has positively made me really feel like I wish to soar out of a airplane. I’m sick of it,” stated Woodward, who works as a housekeeper and cook dinner on an property close by. Rodgers, a mechanic, added: “Yeah, it’s been boring for the previous yr.”
The 26-year-olds from Scarborough had been among the many small group of thrillseekers on a current sunny morning, ready for a cloud to go in order that they might plunge 10,000 toes from a light-weight plane.
The skydiving membership is on their doorstep – a couple of miles inland from the coastal city of Bridlington, set again from the white cliffs of Flamborough Head. “I’ve at all times needed to do it. It’s simply the fun of it – a little bit of hazard I suppose,” stated Rodgers.
Woodward laughed. “I wish to say I’ve carried out it.”
Alec Flint, co-owner of Bridlington’s Skydive GB, stated that many new clients had needed to skydive for years however by no means bought spherical to it. The pandemic precipitated a shift in perspective. “Since Covid’s been round, an increasing number of individuals are realising that life’s too quick, they usually’re not keen to place issues off,” he stated.
Some individuals who come listed below are elevating cash for charity, mostly the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, whereas others are doing it for a special day or have been handled to the expertise as a present.
First-timers are strapped to an skilled teacher who controls the parachute, in what is called a tandem skydive. Although it might appear harmful, accidents are uncommon, and never a single individual has been killed within the UK on a tandem skydive within the final 20 years.
The group at Skydive GB are hoping for a transparent and dry summer time to allow them to sustain with demand, after spending nearly all the final yr closed and reopening solely in April, when authorities restrictions eased.
Flint stated: “We managed to reopen briefly final yr however our output was considerably lowered as a result of there may solely be so many individuals right here.”
Skydiving movies are sometimes posted to social media by proud clients, which may very well be a part of the rationale the expertise has been rising in recognition in recent times.
Sandy Barnett, managing director of Skydive St Andrews in Glenrothes, stated that alongside a “large enhance” in bookings since reopening, he has seen an enormous rise in individuals wanting a video taken, from about 50% of shoppers earlier than lockdown to about 90% now.
He stated: “I can solely put that right down to social media – after lockdown, individuals are determined for one thing to put up on social media.”
In Bridlington, spectators took their very own photos and video as they watched eagerly for his or her family members to drop from the sky. As small figures tumbled from the airplane and progressively grew bigger, the gang bubbled with pleasure, they usually cheered when the jumpers landed.
So, was it the fun that Woodward and Rodgers had been hoping for? “It was superb!” they stated in unison.